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2020 GMC Terrain Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?

Why Buy a 2020 GMC Terrain?

Should You Buy a 2020 GMC Terrain? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The 2020 GMC Terrain is a vast improvement over past iterations, but it is still very much in the middle of the SUV segment. It is a tough segment to be in since these vehicles are high in consumer demand. However, other automakers seem to get right some of the things that GMC is still getting wrong on the Terrain. While the interior now looks more upscale and contemporary, the Terrain runs on an underpowered base engine. To get the better engine option, you have to spend more money on a vehicle that is already pricey. Is it worth it to buy a Terrain? Maybe, but consumers need to be aware of what they could be investing in before making any commitments.

What's New for 2020?

The biggest change to the 2020 GMC Terrain line-up is that the optional diesel engine that you could get in years past is no longer available. The Denali models have been given an upgraded suspension system that provides a better, smoother ride quality. Also, a lot more safety features now come standard, as customers have been demanding them more and more.


Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 GMC Terrain – The Pros

1. Chic Interior Design

The previous model year's GMC Terrain models looked kind of drab. They were nothing to gawk at and looked like basically every other SUV model from several years before. Therefore, it was time for GMC to step up and give the 2020 GMC Terrain a nicer interior design. This year, the cabin looks way more contemporary and has more higher-quality materials. The entire layout of the cabin seems more natural and user-friendly too.

2. A Lot of Ride Comfort

Ride comfort is one of the Terrain's strong points, especially on the Denali trim thanks to its improved suspension system. However, the other trim levels boast a good ride quality as well, but you will feel some minor bumps on certain road surfaces. There is little in the way of noise that seeps into the cabin. At most, you will hear a minor amount of tire noise when going along at highway speeds.

3. The Optional 2.0-L Turbo Engine

Skip right over the base engine and go for the optional 2.0-L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It musters up 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque - a vast improvement over the 1.5-L's mere 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission comes with it, and you can pick between the standard front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The 1.5-L takes about 9.3 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph, but the stronger 2.0-L takes less. It is still kind of slow for a vehicle in this segment, but it feels more spunky.

4. A Touchscreen That is Easy to Use

The touchscreen on the 2020 GMC Terrain is actually quite well-designed. It remains user-friendly without looking low-tech, last-gen. Touchscreens in the past have been a downfall for the Terrain, but this one looks nice and has a short learning curve. Compared to what you will find in some of the Terrain's top competitors, this touchscreen is particularly pleasing to the eye and is appropriately touch-sensitive.

5. Composed Handling Capabilities

The 2020 GMC Terrain is actually quite solid with regard to its handling. Despite not being a sporty vehicle, the Terrain is able to round through turns with ease, making it a pleasure to take along winding roads. There is no body roll to be noticed, which is a bonus for this SUV. You can take this vehicle up to high speeds without feeling like it could possibly lose control.

6. Supportive Seats

Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the amount of support the Terrain's seats offer. Up front, the seats offer plenty of lumbar and thigh support, and rear seat passengers get treated to something as equally cozy. The seats are well-padded, getting just the right mixture of firmness and softness. They can last the duration of a long road-trip.

7. Standard Smartphone App Integration

Smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard issue on the 2020 GMC Terrain. While a lot of the Terrain's built-in infotainment features work just fine, it is easy to switch over to using your phone's apps instead if you feel more comfortable with utilizing them. These smartphone app features are easy to use, which is why a lot of people will enjoy using them.

8. The Front Passenger Seat Folds Flat

One of the handy features that comes on this vehicle is the front seat's flat-folding capability. This is helpful when you need more space for bulky items in the second row. This kind of makes up for the modest cargo space in the rear. Not a lot of vehicles have a front seat that can fold flat, so this is quite a nice touch from GMC.

9. The LATCH System is Easy to Access

The LATCH system is important for keeping small children safe in their car seats. However, some vehicles have LATCH systems that are difficult to access. Not so in the 2020 GMC Terrain. The anchors for the car seats are easy to find and get to so that you can connect the car seat. Even front-facing car seats can easily be hooked into the LATCH system, and there is plenty of room for them as well. Rear-facing car seats can also fit without too much hassle.

10. Denali Models Have an Upgraded Suspension

The upgraded suspension is one of the highlights of the Denali models. It does a great job at absorbing bumps on any type of road surface. While it is, of course, more expensive than the regular trim models, the Denali has a pleasant manner to it. The ride is smooth and free from outside noise. Those who can afford it will greatly enjoy the quiet mannerisms of this vehicle.


Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 GMC Terrain – The Cons

1. The Price Tag

The biggest downfall to the 2020 GMC Terrain is its price tag. While the base trim is on par with the competition, jumping to the higher trim levels will boost the cost above what you might pay for similar trim levels on the competition. For the price you have to pay for essentially the same features and functions, it might be hard to justify the expense.

2. Less Cargo Space Than Some Competitors

Another pitfall of the Terrain is that it has less cargo space than a lot of the competition. With just 63 cubic feet of space behind the front row, this is not a whole lot considering what other vehicles in this segment get. The folding front passenger seat does help, but even the 81 cubes that maxes the vehicle out at does not feel totally stellar.

3. A Lackluster Base Engine

The base engine is a real sore point on the 2020 GMC Terrain. It only gets 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque, which is nowhere near enough to get this vehicle going at a reasonable rate. It can only go from 0 to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds, putting it far behind most of the competition. Opting for the 2.0-L turbo engine is a much better idea, even though it is more expensive to buy.

4. Poor Visibility

Although this is a minor gripe compared to some of the other issues the Terrain has, it might be enough to stop some people from buying it. Visibility is pretty poor all around. Up front, the angle of the dash hinders some visibility since it makes it hard to know exactly where the front end of the vehicle is located. Also, the rear side windows do not offer a good amount of visibility. The rear-view camera helps, but most drivers will likely still want to be able to see as much with the naked eye as possible.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2020 GMC Terrain vs. 2020 Honda CR-V

The 2020 GMC Terrain gets some stiff competition from the 2020 Honda CR-V. The CR-V is continuously hailed as one of the best in this segment, and it is no wonder why. The CR-V offers a vast amount of cleverly crafted storage space. It has a spunky turbo engine that makes driving it feel exciting. However, the touchscreen is still a bit finicky even though Honda has tried to refine a lot of their infotainment features.

2020 GMC Terrain vs. 2020 Hyundai Tuscon

Another competitor this model year is the 2020 Hyundai Tuscon. The Tuscon has an immense amount of features given the price you will pay for the vehicle. Also, the whole infotainment system is easy to use, and the cabin oozes comfort. On the downside, the Tuscon does not get very good fuel economy. Also, it too has an underpowered base engine that makes it sluggish.


Overall, the 2020 GMC Terrain struggles to work its way toward the head of the pack. It has some really good qualities, such as its cozy interior with its chic design. However, the bad seems to outweigh the good in this case, as the price makes this vehicle less attractive of a purchase.

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